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exbiologist's picture
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10 for 10

Last Monday was just a one day primer trying to get my girlfriend her first antelope and maybe get one out of the way for me too.  

This weekend was our main group hunt that was starting to grow a little too large.  However, we still got it done, going 10 for 10 in 2.5 days.  It probably helped that one of the guys with 2 tags didn't show up, but I'd still like to think we could have filled those too.

 

We left the house a little before 4am, with Katie, myself, my buddy Adam and his son Suman.  First group we found on the checkerboarded land was barely a minute out of the town we would be staying in.  It was a large herd, with just enough cover for us to quickly to within 160 yards of a doe in heavy greasewood (for the 2nd time in a week).

 

She offered up a high shoulder shot, and my buddy took it with his .243, dropping her on the spot.  One antelope down before 7:30am.

All packed up by about 8am:

 

Next up was Adam again in the same greasewood bottom that I head shot my doe in last week.  As we made our stalk, we could see a white butt flashing in and out of the greasewood, but it was just a buck.  We set up on him, hoping the does would pile on out from behind the hill.  Another buck came out, but still no does.  Eventually we decided to make the move, but by the time the does were 800 yards away in wide open stuff, so we let them be.

 

After a spin around a walk in area that was very productive last year (but was barren on Monday too), we came back through to a state section that had some antelope in the wide open.  We made a quick stalk under the bluff and peeked up to find them at 211 yards.  As Adam was thinking about shooting, his son said he had to pee and couldn't hold it.  I quickly crawled back with him to let him take care of business.  The antelope may have seen us moving because Adam felt like he was spotted then.  Took a shot while his son was peeing, and it wasn't a great shot, but a quick follow up did the trick.

 

 

Rest of the day was pretty unproductive for us.  A whole lot story telling for the boy and looking at unapproachable antelope for Katie.  Ryan managed to take one at 330 yards before noon with another guy who came up with him, just to learn how to gut an antelope.  Mike showed up closer to 5 and put one down with "creative shot placement" at 315 yards.

 

The next morning Katie and I went out with Ryan, while Mike went out with Adam and Suman.

 

After quickly searching some of the easier to get to country for Katie, we spent the rest of the time in a unit where only Ryan and I had tags.  First stalk was a long one, taking about 45 minutes.  It was a large herd, with some stragglers well within range, but some bushes and longer grasses were making it difficult for us to get a comfortable shot.  Eventually a doe had had enough of us peeking over the hill at her and finally gave me a shot at an estimated 320ish.  She was slightly quartering away and as soon as she stopped, I whacked her with the 7mm.  She ran about 30 yards and fell over.

 

 

Next up we managed to find several herds in some checkerboard all hanging out too close to some cliffs that we could use to our advantage.  Ryan didn't have a shot on the first one, so I took it at 240 yards, quartering towards, punching her through the neck and shoulder at downhill angle.  All tagged out.

 

 

After that was Ryan's turn, where we stalked our way down the cliffs, through a little drainage.  He flubbed the shot way high at 200 yards with his .30-06 and 130 TTSXs, spooking the antelope.  In disbelief, we tried to check zero on a piece of wood, confirming that there was something way wrong. 

 

He switched guns to his 325 WSM, and about 5 minutes later, we were back in position at 315 yards below another ridge.  This time he connected and was tagged out.

 

Now we had to drive back to the other unit for Katie's last tag.  We found a great opportunity for her on another piece of checkerboard BLM.  The doe spotted our heads peeking over the hill at about 100 yards, and I told Katie to just stay still as she's going to keep coming up to investigate.  At 60 or 70 yards, her chest was now exposed and Katie took her with her .308, hitting a little high in the neck, completing our limit.

 

 

Mike and Adam managed to put down one early in the day, and we all decided to come back to the motel early and feast.  We had one more day to hunt, and just one tag to fill, so there was no sense pushing it.

 

Sunday morning by about 8, on a half section of BLM, Adam managed to finish the job from about 250 yards with his 243.

 

 

And that's a wrap for now.  Adam and I still have one tag that goes until December, but with plenty of meat in the freezer (we're actually still processing), we should have no pressure on the rest of our elk and deer hunts. 

 

Oh yeah, and guns and loads used were: 

Me:  

Winchester M70 faux Sporter Deluxe

7mm Rem Mag

150 Ballistic Tip

 

Katie:

Tikka T3

.308 Win

165 Grand Slam

 

Adam:

Ruger 77 Varmint

.243 Win

95 grain Ballistic Tip

 

Mike:

Tikka T3

.30-06

110 grain Barnes TTSX

 

Ryan

Ruger 77

.30-06

130 grain TTSX

 

Winchester M70 Coyote Light

.325 WSM

220 grain A Frame

GooseHunter Jr's picture
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Nice job in getting it done. 

Nice job in getting it done.  We struggled up there a last weekend.  I managed to get one down before the snow started flying and then the wind just played havoc on them antelope.  They change alot when the snow hits the ground.  Good job and congrats on a great hunt..thanks for all the pics!

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oh yeah, the wind!

The wind was horrible, which is why we tried to keep everything close if we had any kind of crosswind.  Most of the longer shots were either into or with the wind.

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Awesome !!

Mark,

That is amazing ! Congrats to all of you on getting it done ! As always great pics and story ! Killing machines ! Thumbs up

Quinton

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Very cool Mark! I absolutely

Very cool Mark! I absolutely love the quality of your photos, and your writing style!  Congrats on a fine hunt.  Lots of smiles in those photos, and some quality animals.  I can tell you all had a great time.

Another thing I find interesting, which should go out to everyone out there, is the wide variety of calibers used on this hunt.  You always hear people asking "what's the best caliber for...... ", but as evidenced here, it's not what you're using in most cases, but how you shoot!

Good luck on you other hunts!  Can't wait for the next report and photos!

exbiologist's picture
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guns

For some of us, it's a "dance with who brung ya kind of thing".  Some of our group have a lot of options, others have very few options regarding what to bring.  

My 27.5 inch .264 Win Mag is a great antelope gun, but I wanted to make sure I got some kills out of my new 7mm Rem Mag this year.  I consider both of those guns to be deer/elk calibers, not really antelope guns, but they work just fine.

The .308, well that's Katies only big game rifle.  Regarding the bullet, it's mostly because it shot well, and I knew we'd make an effort to keep the ranges short for her, not because I think that blunt tipped 165 Grand Slam is an ideal antelope bullet.  But I also didn't want to change things up before her deer and elk combo next week.

The .243 that my buddy uses is mostly just for fun.  It's a super accurate, heavy rifle, and we don't hike far enough for weight to be an issue.  He also brought his .270 along and wanted to use the .30-30 this year, but couldn't get it sighted in properly.  

The .30-06 guys don't like blood shot meat and therefore use Barnes bullets, but still keep them light and fast for flatter trajectory.  Regarding the .325, that's his only other big game rifle and he has more confidence in it since it will shoot half inch groups, and he's head shot antelope fawns with it before.

It's just kind of making do with what we've got on hand.

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Very nice.

Very nice.  Great pics and story too.  It's almost as much fun reading about other's trips as it is hunting yourself.  Thanks!  Hunting antelope in Wyoming is so much fun.

I agree with Ca_Vermonster on the calibers too.  A few years ago when we started hunting antelope in Wyoming, I borrowed a .243 from a friend to use thinking the .30-06 I've always used was just too big.  After shooting the .243 a bunch at the range, it just wasn't a comfirtable gun for me and I didn't want to make a bunch of changes to my friends gun to make it comfirtable.  Ended up using the .30-06 with 150 gr. bullets--worked perfect.  Shot placement is much more important than caliber and I encourage everyone I hunt with to use the gun they know and like the best, not the caliber they think is the most appropriate.

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Nice work Mark. The terrain

Nice work Mark. The terrain in that last pic of you and Katie is about as flat as it gets! And you are right about it being windy up there. Saturday afternoon was insane up there!

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Nice!

Nice, congrats to all the hunters. It looks like you guys had a fun hunt Thumbs up  

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Congrats to you and your

Congrats to you and your hunting party Mark. Looks like you guys had a great time hunting and filling your tags. Great story and great pictures. Wind will deffinatly wreak havoc on a hunt. During our late season hunts out here we have to deer with bone cutting east wind from the Columbia river gorge. it will blow at bout 40-60 mile pe hour and when it's cold it will just cut right through you. In fact it just started blowing last night and will be around for a few days before a front come through. Again congrats on your hunt, Thats sweet you guys were able to go 10 for 10. That will be some good eating this winter.

SGM
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Wow what a great story, great

Wow what a great story, great photos and a great hunt. Congratulations to you and all the folks in your group that got it done. 10 for 10 is not easy task and you made it sound easy. Liked the photo of the young man carring the hide out. He looks very proud and happy. Allot of good memories and great eating for the year. Thanks for sharing and glad it all worked out for you.